March 1, 2011. Remember this date? Unless it was the birth of your child or your wedding, I am pretty sure you really wouldn’t understand the importance of it. However, if you were a boxing video game fan, I’m almost positive you recall the significance of this date. This is the last time boxing video game fans had a game released to play. It’s been almost ten years since the last time a significant boxing video game was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It’s truly an inexcusable and almost disrespectful amount of time that has passed since boxing fans have been blessed with a virtual display of the art of fisticuffs for reasons never truly explained.
However, it appears that is about to change. Thanks to Steel City Interactive, we will have a new boxing video game to play. ESports Boxing Club (ESBC) has been making noise and it is music to my ears. As a boxing fanatic and former official with USA Boxing and Professional Boxing, I can not emphasize how excited I am that this team has taken the reigns and put forth so far a very promising and gorgeous boxing video game.
With 60+ currently announced boxers (with a promise of more to come), let’s take a look at 10 of the ESports Boxing Club boxers available when it launches. This list is not meant to be a ratings ranking based on abilities and stat attributes. It is based solely upon fame, credibility, and reputation.
Sugar Ray Robinson
Born Walker Smith Jr., Robinson will be forever known as one of the greatest boxers of all time in all eras. He had the rare ability of possessing not only great offensive skill, but good defensive skill throughout his storied career from his AAU days into the end of his Hall of Fame Career. Robinson amassed an astonishing 109 knockouts in over 200 bouts and was never knocked out (his loss to Joey Maxim was a retirement not a KO). He finished his career with a record of 174-19-6 while having a winning streak of 91 wins. The thing that puts Robinson in a different class compared to almost all his peers is that he possessed amazing boxing skill, speed, accuracy, power (in both hands) and could go from “stun” to “kill” in almost an instant with his offensive ability. Robinson was indeed a once in a lifetime fighter.
Joe ‘The Brown Bomber’ Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow, who went by the nickname The Brown Bomber, is considered one of the greatest Heavyweight Champions of all time. He had an amazing 25 consecutive title defenses while participating in 27 Championship bouts. A former Golden Gloves and US National Champion Louis had a career record of 66 wins (52 by KO) with only 3 losses. Louis’s punching power is legendary with a KO percentage in the mid 70’s. But, the one significant moment in Joe Louis’s career came when he would fight the rematch against the German Max Schmeling during the time of the World War. Louis destroyed Schmeling in the first round with his legendary punching power on display. He would hit Schmeling so hard with a body shot people in the crowd said they heard the scream.
‘Smoking’ Joe Frazier
With a record of 32-4, Frazier is considered one of the “Legends” in the ESBC roster. His losses came at the hands of two Hall of Fame Boxers (Ali-2, Foreman-2). Frazier’s forward moving, aggressive crab style was punctuated with a devastating left hook. Frazier is a International Boxing Hall of Fame member and won a Gold Medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. His fights with Muhammad Ali will go down in boxing history as one of the greatest trilogies of all time.
‘The Brockton Blockbuster’ Rocky Marciano
Rocco Francis Marchegiano is the only Heavyweight in the history of boxing to have retired with an undefeated record. Going by the name Rocky Marciano, his record of 49 wins with 0 losses was a record in boxing that stood for decades. Marciano’s all-time knockout percentage was an astonishing 87.76%. His power was legendary as he stood toe to toe with some of the hardest punchers in the history of boxing and usually ended up with Marciano winning by knockout. He was a rugged and aggressive fighter with an iron chin and hands of steel. A fan favorite and icon in his era, Marciano was always ready to bring the fight to his opponents and never backed down.
Arturo ‘Thunder’ Gatti
Arturo was a fan favorite in boxing due to his fighting style and spirit. The “blood and guts warrior” displayed tremendous punching power, good speed and combination punching. To know the type of fighter Gatti was, I recommend watching his first matches with Ivan Robinson and Mickey Ward. You will be a fan guaranteed.
Jack ‘The Manassa Mauler’ Dempsey
Born William Harrison Dempsey, “Jack” was known as the “Manassa Mauler” because his fighting style was just to maul and attack his opponents with minimal defense and maximum offense. Arguably one of the greatest pure punchers of all time, Dempsey’s aggressive fighting style and extraordinary punching power made him a fan favorite and cultural icon in the 1920s. Holding the World Heavyweight Championship title from 1919 to 1926, Dempsey was the “Money” before Floyd Mayweather, Jr. His fights would set financial and attendance records including the first ever recorded million dollar purse in the title fight with Jess Willard. Dempsey amassed 44 knockouts in 54 wins with 6 losses and 8 draws.
‘The Hitman’ Ricky Hatton
Come on folks sing it with me: “THERE’S ONLY ONNNNNNEEEEE RICKY HATTON!!!” When Ricky Hatton fought, an entire nation was cheering for him and what a sight and sound was it to behold. Need an example? Hatton vs Mayweather at the MGM Grand. Just watch the intro and build up; if you don’t get goosebumps I am sorry to tell you, but you have no pulse. Hatton was a fixture in the Junior Welterweight and Welterweight divisions possessing quick combos and decent power. I still hum that song to this day.
Nigel ‘Dark Destroyer’ Benn
Benn had a knockout percentage over 70%, in case you wanted to know what kind of power he possessed. Benn was a force in the Super Middleweight Division holding a title as well. His power could be seen and felt when you watched his fights. His first match with hated rival, Chris Eubanks, is a must watch for boxing fans.
Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martinez
The slick and powerful southpaw from Argentina started late in his boxing career, but took off like a rocket. With a hand low to side style defense that was almost taunting his opposition, ‘Maravilla’ had tremendous power to back his confident and sometimes cocky style up. Need examples? His rematch with Paul Williams was a knockout of the year candidate and when he fought Kermit Cintron, he hit him so hard on a knockdown that Cintron thought it was a head-butt. Seriously go listen to the audio.
Josh ‘The Tarton Tornado’ Taylor
With a ranking of number 3 in the world and the number 1 rated Super Lightweight in the United Kingdom, Josh Taylor holds both the WBA and IBF Super Lightweight titles. A strong puncher with an upper 70% knockout rating, Taylor’s power plays a major factor in his undefeated record.
ESports Boxing Club Boxers Honorable Mentions
- Tommy Morrison, Heavyweight
- Chris John, Featherweight
- Enzo Maccarinelli, Light Heavyweight, Cruiserweight
- ‘Irish’ Mickey Ward
- Joe Joyce, Heavyweight
- Chris John, Featherweight
- Jack Johnson (Legend), Heavyweight
- Floyd Paterson (Legend), Heavyweight
- Josh Warrington, Featherweight
- Alexander Povetkin, Heavyweight
- Javier Fortuna, Featherweight, Super Featherweight
- Kid Galahad, Super Bantamweight, Featherweight
So sports gamers, who are some boxers in ESports Boxing Club that you look forward to using in the ring? Let us know in the comment section below, and stick with SGO for more on the game as it becomes available.